Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox 8/9

The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. Rivalry renewed one more time this season as these two teams kick off a three-game set tonight in Boston. In the first matchup of the series the Yankees will send Luis Severino to the mound looking to take some of that success he had in the bullpen and translate it into success as a MLB starter this season while the Red Sox counter with someone who hasn’t had any trouble having success this season as a starter in Rick Porcello. The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside Fenway Park and can be seen on the YES Network locally, MLB Network nationally and MLB TV wherever you are.

The Yankees have two more inside Fenway Park before returning home Friday night for Alex Rodriguez’s last game of his career and before welcoming the Tampa Bay Rays to town. To see A-Rod’s final goodbye in the Bronx click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog to secure your seats now before they are all gone. Also be sure to look the part while at the stadium by clicking the TGP T-Shirts link also located at the top of the blog to snag a Jacoby Ellsbury milk carton shirt or any of the other shirts brought to you by us via BreakingT.

Follow along during this game, Alex’s final game on Friday or any game this season by either liking us on Facebook or by giving @GreedyStripes a follow on Twitter. You could sell off half the team at the trading deadline while the other half announce their retirement and we’d still watch, our commitment runs that deep with this team. Welcome back Louie. Go Yankees!

Introducing the Greedy Pinstripes Podcast by Matt Bove and Jacob Westendorf

Ladies and gentleman, introducing the Greedy Pinstripes podcast brought to you by Matt Bove and Jacob Westendorf. This is a little bit of short notice and that’s no one’s fault but my own but late last week Matt approached me with the idea of having a podcast but he didn’t have a place to host it. We like to do things a little different here and we like to give those that don’t have help getting their names and their talents out there the help that we never had. It’s a personal goal of mine and a goal I think I’ve done okay with thus far in my blogging career.

Currently Jacob, Matt and myself are trying to get all the little kinks ironed out and worked through but just know Yankees fans that a podcast is coming to The Greedy Pinstripes and I couldn’t be more stoked about it. Be on the lookout for it and we’ll be bringing you episode one as soon as we possibly can.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattBoveHS
You can follow Jacob on Twitter @JacobWestendorf
And you can follow us on Twitter @GreedyStripes

We look forward to bringing this to you and look forward to your interactions with it. Enjoy. 

USA Today’s Weekly MLB Power Rankings

The New York Yankees basically gutted any chance of winning and competing in 2016 after trading away many of their soon-to-be free agents and veteran players, or did they? The team has done nothing but win and compete in the games that they didn’t win since the August 1st trade deadline and not only against weaker teams. New York gave the New York Mets a run for their money and they are fresh off taking their second consecutive series against the first place Cleveland Indians as well but you couldn’t tell it by their ranking in the USA Today’s Weekly Power Rankings. Keep reading.

The Yankees remained stagnant despite a strong week and remained at the #18 position overall while the rest of the American League East saw a ton of movement. The Baltimore Orioles moved up three spots to the #4 position while the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox occupy the 7th and 9th spots respectively. Meanwhile the Tampa Bay Rays are still in the basement of the division and still near the bottom of these rankings after coming in this week #26th overall.

The Top five teams according to the rankings are the Chicago Cubs, the Washington Nationals, the Texas Rangers, the Baltimore Orioles who were also the biggest risers of the week after climbing three spots and the San Francisco Giants. The five worst teams in the league according to the rankings are the #26 Tampa Bay Rays, the #27 Minnesota Twins, the #28 Cincinnati Reds, the #29 Arizona Diamondbacks who were also the biggest fall of the week after falling two spots and the #30 Atlanta Braves.

The August 1st trading deadline has come and gone and all signs, thus far anyway, point to it being a slow month of August in the trading department as well. That means these rankings should go stagnant, sample size has a way of doing that to you. Enjoy the rankings and the rest of your day!

Quit Your Alex Rodriguez Pity Party

Ever since it was announced that Alex Rodriguez would be released this Friday, and become a special adviser rather than player, I've seen more and more people throwing pity parties for the guy.

The only pity I feel for ARod is that he may not get more chances to hit home run #700. As silly as round numbers are (you mean to tell me hitting 699 home runs is that much worse than 700?), it is a major milestone. So yes... it stinks that Alex may not get that chance.

I also agree that he did a ton for the Yankees, including leading the team to the World Series championship in 2009. Furthermore, Rodriguez has done so much in terms of helping develop youngster. I'll never forget those things, and will praise him for such until my last breathe.

But that doesn't overshadow all the negative things that Alex has brought to the table.

Since 2009 Alex has made $238 million from the Yankees (this includes money owed through next season). According to Fangraphs Dollar Value, he's been worth $109.5 million in that time. That's not a small difference. In fact, very few players will ever make $128.5 million in their careers, but that's just the difference between what Alex has been paid and what he's given back in terms of play. I'm sure ARod has made the Yankees more money than through his play, such as merchandise sales and other appearances, but no way has he made up that $128.5 million.

There were many instances of bad press, such as the silly pictures from his Sports Illustrated article some years back. And I shouldn't even have to bring up his PED history.

Even on the field there were things like slapping the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove during the playoffs, or yelling "ha" at a Blue Jays' player trying to field a pop fly while Alex was rounding the bases. Yeah, some people like that stuff as they see it as trying harder to win, but I see it as bush league crap. Look at it this way... do other players not want to win as bad simply because they don't try and pull that stuff?

I understand that Alex, like so many other athletes, does not want to stop playing. I was upset when I could no longer play baseball after high school, which is absolutely nothing compared to when a professional athlete like ARod has to give it up. So I can only try and imagine how he feels right now.

"Oh, yeah."

But the fact of the matter is that the way things have gone down, Alex is not actually done with playing. Sure, chances are low that we'll ever see him in a MLB batter's box again, but you never know if another team is desperate enough to bring him aboard. Perhaps not even for his play, but for his name and persona to help increase things like ticket sales and merchandise revenue.

And let's go back to the fact that ARod is going to get all the money due to him.

I was excited by the news at first, because it sounded like all that money would be wiped from the team's payroll. But alas... it's not. The Yankees will still have Alex's $27.5 million taxed by the league (remember, Luxury Tax is based off of the contracts average annual value, not the actual amount paid to a player in a given year).

Not that I would have expected the team to sign a player for that much money, anyway. But with another $27.5 million off the payroll, and the Luxury Tax threshold likely going up, there was a good chance the Yankees would get under the new threshold a year earlier than planned.

In essence, the only downside for Alex is that he won't be playing in Major League Baseball. He's still getting all his money, and he's still able to play should another team be interested.

On the other hand, the only thing the Yankees are getting out off all this is another spot on their roster.

Don't get me wrong, I love that another youngster will get a chance. But don't act all "woe is me" for ARod, while looking at Hal and the Yankees organization as anything close to "bad guys" here.

Bryan Mitchell Injury Rehab Update!

Yankees Hurler Bryan Mitchell Set to Make Rehab Start with RiverDogs
North Carolina native returns to Charleston where he pitched during the 2012 season

CHARLESTON, SC– The New York Yankees have announced that RHP Bryan Mitchell will make a rehab start for the Charleston RiverDogs on Monday night against the Rome Braves at 7:05 pm at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.

Mitchell, 25, returns to Charleston after pitching for the RiverDogs in the 2012 season while coming up through the system. The Reidsville, North Carolina native last pitched in 2015 with the Yankees where he made 20 appearances in The Show, compiling a 0-2 record with a 6.37 ERA in 20 relief appearances while striking out 29 and walking 16 across 29.2 innings.Mitchell was placed on the 60-day disabled list by the Yankees on May 14, 2016 with left great toe tear.

The 6’3” righty becomes the first Yankees rehab assignment for Charleston this season, and the first since OF Slade Heathcott made an appearance with the RiverDogs last season.

Originally selected by the Yankees in the 16th round of the 2009 draft out of Rockingham County High School, Mitchell spent five seasons in the minors before making his Big League debut on August 10, 2015, tossing two scoreless innings against the Cleveland Indians at Yankee Stadium. In his rookie season, he made three appearances, one of them starts, going 0-1 with a 2.45 ERA.

Mitchell spent the entirety of the 2012 season with the RiverDogs, going 9-11 with a 4.58 ERA in 27 games (26 starts) while racking up 121 strikeouts that ranked third among all Yankees farmhands. The 6’3” righty’s 9.08 strikeout per nine innings average ranked second in the South Atlantic League that season.

With the Big Leaguer bolstering their ranks, the RiverDogs begin the three-game series with the Braves tonight, finishing up their homestandon Wednesday.

Ticket information for the RiverDogs’ homestand can be secured by contacting the box office at (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or online atwww.riverdogs.com. Those that can’t make it to the park can follow every pitch of the RiverDogs season on WTMA 1250 AM and streaming online at riverdogs.com.

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox 8/9

The New York Yankees enjoyed the off day yesterday and will now make the trip north into hostile territory as the team faces off with the Boston Red Sox inside Fenway Park. This game marks the first in the three-game set inside Boston’s historic stadium but it also marks the return of Yankees young right-hander Luis Severino to the Yankees rotation. Who did the Red Sox send out to greet Severino back with open arms? Jersey boy Rick Porcello.

Severino has pitched lights out in the Yankees bullpen since returning to the Major Leagues and will make his first start since returning tonight in Boston. In three bullpen appearances Severino logged 8.1 innings of scoreless baseball and will look to bring that newfound success to the rotation where he has a 7.46 ERA in seven starts in 2016.

Porcello is having arguably the best season of his career in 2016 and it could not have come at a better time for the Boston right-hander. Porcello did take a loss in his last start against the Seattle Mariners but that was his first loss in 13 starts so you would have to say he was due to take one on the chin sooner or later. Porcello will look to improve upon his 1-1 record and 1.93 ERA against the Yankees this season in two starts.

The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside Fenway Park and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network and MLB TV. The Yankees, as much as it pains me to say this, are looking to follow in the Red Sox footprints as of late as the Bronx Bombers go through the rebuilding phase. Boston was down for a few years before going all in on positional prospects and pitching arms from their farm system. Now the Red Sox are in a fight for the top spot in the AL East and one of the playoffs spots in the American League while the Yankees look to rebuild, oh how the tables have turned. Rebuild or not this team always brings its best against the Red Sox and nothing is sweeter than beating Boston… so Go Yankees!

How I Will Remember Alex Rodriguez

T-Minus less than a week until Alex Rodriguez is no longer listed as a player in uniform, what a bittersweet feeling for many Yankees fans including myself. I kind of ragged on Mark Teixeira in my “How I Will Remember” post about him but I just can’t do that to Alex for some reason. Call it being a homer, call it being bias or whatever label you want to put on it but I find it hard to stay down on someone for long who just wants to play the game and to win. That was Alex. Alex was a student of the game up until the day he announced he would walk away from it and while he has his issues and his imperfections I truly believe his intentions were pure. That’s just one of the many things I will remember about Alex Rodriguez. 

I can remember watching the 2009 version of the Yankees like a kid in the candy store. The Yankees had assembled the best infield of all-time, my opinion at the time anyway, but all those dollars spent and all those huge contracts meant nothing without the heroics of #13 in the postseason. Alex went from being called A-Rod to Clutch-Rod as he broke out like a 13-year old boy over summer vacation leading the Yankees to their 27th World Series championship and his first championship of his career. 

No one was more disappointed in Alex than I was when he went on television with Pete Gammons and admitted to steroid use and begged for the countries and the game’s forgiveness. He got my forgiveness and I fought for him until the second time a steroid scandal broke out, this time with Biogenesis. Again, utter disappointment rained down from the masses when they learned Alex had used not only once but twice and that was about the time I stopped going to bat for him. 

I stopped going to bat for him but I never stopped rooting for him. Even if he came out and said he has used a third time before hanging up his cleats I would still consider myself to be an Alex Rodriguez fan, I’m loyal like that and loyal to a fault I guess. I just always loved to study him at the plate, study him in the field and modeled my own game after him. I feel pretty guilty about saying this with hindsight being 20/20 and all but while most kids around me in Little League in New York were trying to be Derek Jeter I just wanted to be A-Rod. I wanted to be the big shortstop that could hit 50 home runs a season. I wanted it all, just like A Rod. 

So this is a bittersweet retirement party for me when it comes to Alex Rodriguez. I want to see the youth come up and get a shot and I want the Yankees to put the best 25 guys out there day in and day out not only in 2016 and beyond and Alex just isn’t that anymore. At the same time it’s hard to see the end of an era and it’s equally as hard to see one of the players you grew up watching and idolizing as a kid say goodbye. It shows mortality and I’m not quite ready to feel mortal yet. 

So Alex, congratulations on an awesome career and good luck in everything that you do going forward. And thank you. For everything. 

Weekly Prospect Check In: Aaron Judge

The New York Yankees youth movement is in full effect with the trades that came before the August 1st trade deadline and now the recent announcements from Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez as both are walking away from the game. Now Teixeira will look to finish off the 2016 campaign on the field but Rodriguez will no longer be on the field come the weekend as he is set to unconditionally be released to join the front office with New York. When Alex is no longer on the team and no longer on the 40 man roster someone is going to have to come up and that someone may be Aaron Judge.

Right now it looks like the two main options for New York are Tyler Austin and Judge, although Chris Parmelee did just get sent on a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A so you never know, and many fans are clamoring for the Judge. He’s been in Triple-A longer than Austin and his power and hype is unmatched right now in the Yankees farm system. Judgement Day is coming ladies and gentleman and it could be as soon as this weekend for New York. 


This Day in New York Yankees History 8/9: Five Grand Slams

Never in the history of Major League Baseball have five grand slams been hit in the same day across the league until 1999. Five different men hit grand slams on this day to establish a new major league record including the Cardinals Fernando Tatis, the Expos Jose Vidro, the Marlins Mike Lowell, the Mariners Jay Buhner, and the Yankees Bernie Williams.

In an interesting side not Lowell, Williams, and Buhner were all former Columbus Clippers players. One player who never played for the Columbus Clippers was Paul O'Neill. That is relevant today because today is Paul O'Neill Day at Yankee Stadium so be sure to watch today for that.